The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is expanding its low-emission, natural gas generation fleet with the purchase of a combined cycle gas plant owned by Quantum Choctaw Power, an affiliate of Quantum Utility Generation.
The 700-megawatt plant is the sixth combined cycle gas facility TVA has built or purchased since 2007, with two more under construction. The facility will be renamed Ackerman Combined Cycle Plant.
The TVA board of directors voted on Feb. 12 to move forward with the purchase, pending regulatory and other approvals, including from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which governs transactions involving utility assets.
Located in Ackerman, Mississippi, the high-efficiency plant uses two gas turbines and one steam turbine to produce energy. TVA has purchased electricity from the plant since 2008.
“The plant offers a strong strategic, operational and financial fit with TVA’s system and goal for a balanced asset portfolio,” said Bill Johnson, TVA president and CEO. “This was an opportunity to acquire a power plant that already provides electricity to TVA at a price that is significantly less than it would cost to build a comparable plant.”
The purchase will be handled through traditional forms of financing. The acquisition includes flexibility for future ownership by Seven States Power Corp., a member-owned generation and transmission cooperative formed by local power companies served by TVA.
Located in TVA’s service area and already connected to the TVA grid, the Ackerman plant will provide low-cost, reliable power to the Mississippi region.
The plant also will provide greater transmission flexibility and system reliability as TVA retires older, coal-burning units. But it will not directly result in the retirement of any coal-fired units beyond what already is scheduled in TVA’s five-year asset plan.
TVA continually evaluates generation options to provide the Tennessee Valley with clean, reliable and affordable energy.